Compost fun

Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia. She went to The Newt with my sister Mary recently, and took this picture of Mary sitting in contemplation in the Story of Gardening exhibition there.

We had to get the watering cans out again today. To be fair, it did rain a couple of times in the afternoon, once quite heavily. However, as each shower only lasted a couple of minutes, it didn’t make any material difference to the dryness of the garden.

I keep getting ambushed by the Olympics, and spend time both in the morning and late at night watching things like archery and whitewater canoeing to the detriment of doing useful things or getting a good night’s sleep.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy in the garden after breakfast while I watched rugby sevens, and then after coffee with Margaret, she went off to do things in the town and meet the new managers for the Tarras Valley nature reserve project. I finally found something useful to do.

I sieved the remaining compost in bin D and then moved the compost from bin C into the now vacant bin D.  Then, being on a roll, I moved to compost from bin B into the now vacant bin C, and finished this burst of activity by moving the compost from bin A into the now vacant in B .

I know that readers’ lives would be empty without illustrations of all this activity so I have put in a gallery showing in the top row bin A full and bin B empty, bin A empty and bin B full and then the full row of bins A to D when the whole process was finished. In the bottom row you can see bin A ready for more cuttings from the garden, bin B covered and ready to rot, and the red bucket full of the final product of all this activity.

There should be more finished product but Mrs Tootlepedal keeps throwing it away onto the garden behind my back.

This all took until lunchtime, but I did manage to take a few pictures too. Although I am not dead heading them as Mrs Tootlepedal wants them to seed, the little red poppies keep coming.

I got photobombed by another bee while trying to take a picture of my favourite dahlia of the day.

Some of the bees left flowers which they had visited in a rather untidy state.

Others were much neater.

I liked the sight of these three fuchsia flowers hanging like little marionettes, ready to dance.

While we were having coffee, we were visited by the official rose picker, collecting rambler roses to go into the ceremonial Common Riding crown.

The Crown won’t appear in the procession this year, as there will be no procession, but it will take its place in a local shop window and I hope to get a picture of it in all its glory there.

I had a rest after lunch, and then just as I was going to go for a walk, it started to rain…and stopped…and started again.

I checked on the birds between showers. The feeder was pretty quiet again, but there was a single moment when it almost goo busy.

I finally got going on my walk a bit later than I had intended. One of the little showers was very sharp and I didn’t want to get soaked. My timing was good, and I enjoyed a five mile walk ’round Potholm’ in warm and dry conditions with quite a bit of sunshine too.

We will need a lot more rain than just a few minutes’ worth if the rivers are going to fill up at all.

But there was enough water in the Ewes at the Kilngreen to attract wagtails, both of the pied and grey varieties.

It was a lovely day when the sun came out . . .

. . . and I enjoyed the dappled sunlight and shade as I walked up the hill to Holmhead . . .

. . . and down to the hill to Potholm at the other end.

In between, there were flowers and views to enjoy.

As I walked down to the bridge, I was struck by some very pretty flowers growing out of the wall beside the road. I think that they may be stonecrop sedum.

Having crossed the Esk by the bridge that you can see in today’s header picture, I walked along the road admiring the many different colours of lichen on the wall beside me.

I had conversations with cows.

Sunlit trees, chattering swallows, another wall full of spleenwort, and a look at our neighbour Liz’s garage covered by a Russian vine completed the sights of my walk.

I restored my strength when I got in with an evening meal of mince and tatties kindly cooked by Mrs Tootlepedal.

It should be the Common Riding tomorrow, but as there are no pubic festivities, I am intending to go for a bicycle riding instead.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch . . .

. . . and the flower of the day is the little red rose climbing up beside the old bench.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Compost fun

      1. I was certainly thrilled at the text and the photos. Mrs T must be using the sheet composting or chop and drop method in the garden. Thanks for the detailed view of your compost area.

  1. I like your compost system with the stackable tiers. The assortment of photos from your day was enjoyable, and it will be interesting to see the finished crown of roses.

    We are riding out the heat and drought here. Some transient clouds here lowered the temperature a bit earlier, but now the sun is out again, cooking us.

  2. I am WAY impressed with your composting process. I can barely keep up with an tumbler composter and a couple of bins. Monty Don’s got nothin’ on you (didn’t Rod Stewart almost say)!
    Cheers,
    Julie

  3. The messy bee is charming, and the roses against the old bench are lovely. I would think that your chat with the brown cow was a short one – she doesn’t look too impressed!

  4. Lovely to see the two wagtails and the fuchsia ‘dancing maids’. The wonders of your composting amaze me- it’s all worthwhile when you see the wonderful results in your garden. The flower of the day photo is beautiful.

    1. I don’t spend a lot of time on the composting but I do feel it is well worth doing as you get something valuable for the cost of a little labour.

  5. Hello Tp, Wonderful as always and full of lovely images.

    For some reason your excellent and amusing description of the compost moving brought to mind the Trilogic game from the very first Dr, Who series…

    If you remember this, there’s even a Youtube clip from that show and very good it still is. It clearly made an impression on me as a youngster in the early ’60’s plus I didn’t realise Peter Purves began his career before Blue Peter in this series, and that his fortunes eventually changed only the day after he threw out the model prop for the Trilogic game, which he was given after this episode was filmed, and he’d held onto for 18 months during which time he was offered no new work.
    Amazing how I got sucked into such a rabbit hole – and all because of your description of compost shifting!
    So thank you!
    Best wishes
    Julian

    1. A curious tale of the ill fortune brought by the model prop. I don’t remember the Trilogic game at all. But then, there is a lot that I don’t remember these days.

  6. As always your posts are a feast of knowledge, I now know the A to D of composting. Lol. Cheers.

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